Skittles, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or M&M’s - named by CandyStore.com the most popular candy to hand out on Halloween - are fine, but if you’re having a party, whether it’s for the kids or adults, DIY disgusting treats are what’s called for. Dipping your hand into a bowl of squishy, slimy and otherwise gross treats that also happen to taste good will make any party a real hoot. Or scream.
The recipes and ideas on offer here are not all candy. I attended a party a few years ago where the host gave us hot dogs carved to look like fingers. Ketchup is a must for this and mayo can look a bit like pus. Just made myself a little nauseous remembering that. All you need is a simple sharp knife to carve out a “fingernail” and to add some knuckle creases.
And now I offer some recipes that will satisfy your urge to gross everyone out this Halloween. While you’re making all the cool stuff with the kids, be sure to try one of the shooter recipes I include as well.
Ouch, That’s My Finger Sandwiches
Kids will love these PBJs decorated to look like fingers. I use slivered almonds for the “nails” but if there’s a nut allergy, then you can just use food coloring “fingernail polish” or a bit of chocolate shell. Of course, you can use any spread for filling including a thin layer of egg salad, Nutella or pimento cheese.
Thin sliced white or wheat bread, crusts removed
Cream cheese or peanut butter
Almonds or alternative
Flatten the slices of bread with a rolling pin or glass so they roll up easily. Spread with a bit of butter, then peanut butter or whatever filling you like. Roll up the sandwiches and make three indentations with a knife to mimic finger joints.
Trim the ends of the fingers and place an almond or your substitute on each end, using peanut butter as the “glue.’ Add jam at the end of the finger for the “blood.”
Peanut Butter Eyeballs
Who doesn’t want to eat eyeballs? No one doesn’t!
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
12 ounces white candy coating, chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
20 blue milk chocolate M&M’s
20 brown milk chocolate M&M’s
Red decorating gel
In a small mixing bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Beat in confectioners’ sugar. Shape into 1-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Melt candy coating and shortening in microwave in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls into coating, then place on waxed paper. Place M&M’s, plain side up, on top. Let stand until set. Use red gel to create “bloodshot” eyes.
2 small packets yellow gelatin
1 1/4 cups boiling water
Pour boiling water over the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays with rounded bottoms - should be two trays worth. Refrigerate about 20 minutes, but only until partially set. Push the blueberries into the partially set gelatin and refrigerate until thoroughly set. Dip the ice cube trays in warm water for 15-30 seconds and run a knife around the edge of each ice cube. Turn the “eyes” out onto a serving plate and refrigerate until serving time.
Bloody Gummie Worms
1 package (6 ounces) raspberry or grape flavor gelatin
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 cups boiling water
100 flexible plastic straws
1 tall (same height as extended straws), slender 4-cup container, like a vase or an empty milk carton
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 to 15 drops green food coloring
Combine all gelatins in a bowl. Add boiling water and stir until gelatins completely dissolve. Chill until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently pull straws to extend to full length; place in the tall container. Blend cream and food coloring with the lukewarm gelatin mixture.
Pour into container, filling straws. Chill until gelatin is firm, at least 8 hours. Pull straws from container (if using a carton, tear carton away from straws).
Pull straws apart; run hot tap water for about 2 seconds over three to four straws at a time. Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers. Place worms on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
Cover and chill until ready to use, at least one hour or up to two days. Worms will hold at room temperature up to two hours.
Candy Corn Shooters
Makes six or so shooters
Layers of vodka-spiked Jell-O create the candy corn color effect.
3 cups water
3 ounce package pineapple Jell-O
3 ounce package orange Jell-O
1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
1/2 cup orange-flavored vodka
Add 1 cup boiling water to package of pineapple Jell-O. Stir to dissolve.
Add one-half cup limoncello liqueur and one-half cup cold water and stir.
Pour into small shot glasses. Chill until set.
Add 1 cup boiling water to 1 (3-ounce) package of orange Jell-O. Stir until dissolved.
Add one-half cup orange-flavored vodka and one-half cup cold water. Let cool, then pour on top of the yellow Jell-O layer. Let set. Spritz with whipped cream to create the final white candy corn layer. Shoot it down!
Bloody Brain Shooter
Makes one shooter
1 1/4 oz. strawberry vodka
1/8 oz. Rose’s lime juice
3/4 oz. Bailey’s Irish cream
Splash of grenadine
Add vodka and lime juice to a shaker, shake vigorously and then strain into a shot glass.
Place the straw in the Bailey’s then put your finger on top of the straw to create vacuum and hold the Baileys in the straw. Drizzle into the shot by dipping the straw tip into the vodka and slowly releasing your finger. The lime juice will make the Bailey’s curdle a bit for great effect.
You’ll be able to design the “brain material” using this method.
Add a splash of grenadine for the “blood.” Enjoy.